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Three-Time Tour de France Winner, Cancer Survivor Lance Armstrong to be 2002 Living Legend

Three-Time Tour de France Winner, Cancer Survivor Lance Armstrong
to be 2002 Living Legend
CNN's Paula Zahn to Interview Champion Cyclist at M. D. Anderson Fund Raiser

M. D. Anderson News Release 06/28/02

In keeping with the tradition of world leaders and well-known individuals with one-of-a-kind life stories, world renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong will be the featured guest for A Conversation With A Living Legend to benefit The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Dec. 9 at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel.

The three-time Tour de France victor and three-time Olympian's life experiences have included high points of personal achievement as well as a difficult period when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. A luncheon crowd of more than 1,500 people is expected to listen in as Armstrong talks about his story on stage with CNN anchor Paula Zahn.

ExxonMobil and Texas Capital Bank are presenting the luncheon. Proceeds from the 2002 event will support testicular cancer research and national distribution of a skin cancer prevention educational module, which M. D. Anderson plans to supply to elementary and middle schools. Since 1990, A Conversation With A Living Legend has raised more than $3.6 million to fund numerous cancer research initiatives and patient programs at M. D. Anderson.

"We have been patiently waiting for a few years to be able to honor Lance Armstrong as the true Living Legend that he is, and we are elated that he will be joining us to support M. D. Anderson and tell the amazing account of his life," explains Living Legend event chair Jody Grant, who also has served on M. D. Anderson's Board of Visitors since 1997.

Born in Plano in 1971, Armstrong excelled in athletics early, winning the Iron Kids Triathlon at 13 years old. Although he became a professional triathlete by age 16, cycling emerged as his true sports love. According to his official website biography, "Long rides on Saturdays frequently took him to the Oklahoma border, where he had bicycled so far away from home he would have to call his mother to come and pick him up."

In his professional cycling career, Armstrong has won the world's most grueling, prestigious cycling races, including the most famous of them all, the Tour de France, which he took in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He is the first American to win three consecutive Tour de France races.

Armstrong's 1999 Tour de France victory came after his 18-month battle with testicular cancer that had metastasized to his brain and lungs. News of the cancer motivated him to create the Lance Armstrong Foundation to help enhance the quality of patients' lives during and after treatment and to secure funding for research. Since its founding in 1997, the foundation has awarded more than $3.7 million to survivorship programs and research efforts across the nation. M. D. Anderson projects have been among those supported by the organization.

Paula Zahn anchors CNN's "American Morning With Paula Zahn." She began her career in news 23 years ago at Dallas' WFAA-TV and spent subsequent years at stations in San Diego, Houston, Boston and Los Angeles. Her network career spans morning shows on CBS and ABC and a news analysis program on FOX News Channel. Among her journalism honors is a 1994 Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Continuing News Story celebrating her reports on mainstreaming the mentally disabled into education. She also has reported extensively on breast cancer.

Past celebrities who have been honored as Living Legends are:  Nolan Ryan, Tom Landry, Walter Cronkite, Arnold Palmer, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Bush, H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Gen. Colin Powell, former President George Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Van Cliburn.

For more information, call M. D. Anderson at (800) 525-5841 or (713) 792-3450.


© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center